January 2014


Switzerland: Didier Burkhalter takes office as president. Roland Brogli becomes Landammann of Aargau, Beat Vonlanthen president of the Council of State of Fribourg, Mario Cavigelli president of the government of Graubünden, Charles Juillard president of the government of Jura, Robert Küng president of the government of Luzern, Christian Amsler president of the government of Schaffhausen, and Peter Gomm Landammann of Solothurn.
Tanzania: Finance Minister William Mgimwa dies. Saada Mkuya Salum has already been acting finance minister. In a cabinet reshuffle on January 19, she is named as new finance minister, while Hussein Mwinyi becomes defense minister and Mathias Chikawe home affairs minister.
United States: Bill de Blasio takes office as mayor of New York City, Mike Duggan as mayor of Detroit, and Ed Murray as mayor of Seattle.


United States: Betsy Hodges is sworn in as mayor of Minneapolis and D. Michael Collins as mayor of Toledo.


Italy: Former president of Sicilia (1983-84) Santi Nicita dies.


Bangladesh: In parliamentary elections (boycotted by the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party), the Awami League wins 231 seats (127 of them uncontested) and the Jatiya Party 33 (20 of them uncontested); in 8 of the 300 constituencies polling was suspended and new polls fixed for January 16. In the cabinet sworn in on January 12, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith is retained as finance minister, while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed keeps the defense and home affairs portfolios and also takes charge of foreign affairs.





Czech Republic: The members of Bohuslav Sobotka's prospective cabinet are named including Lubomír Zaorálek as foreign minister, Martin Stropnický as defense minister, Milan Chovanec as interior minister, and Andrej Babis as finance minister. On January 17 President Milos Zeman appoints Sobotka as prime minister. The new government takes office on January 29.
Kuwait: Anas al-Saleh becomes finance minister in a cabinet reshuffle.

Latvia: President Andris Berzins designates Laimdota Straujuma as prime minister. On January 20 she announces her government lineup, with Raimonds Vejonis designated as defense minister, other key ministers to remain in place. On January 22 the new government is confirmed by parliament (64-27).
United States: Martin J. Walsh is sworn in as mayor of Boston and William Peduto as mayor of Pittsburgh.


A.M. Ali
Somalia: The parliament of Puntland elects a president. In the first round of voting, incumbent Abdirahman Mohamed Farole receives 27 of 66 votes, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali 13, and Ali Haji Warsame 12; 8 other candidates are then eliminated. In the second round, Farole gets 31 votes, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali 18, and Ali Haji Warsame 16. In the third round, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali is elected with 33 votes, against 32 for Farole; he is sworn in the same day.


Grenada: Former foreign minister (1997-98) Raphael Fletcher dies.
Guatemala: María Concepción Castro is sworn in as finance minister.
Tonga: Finance Minister Lisiate 'Akolo is dismissed. Prime Minister Tu'ivakano becomes acting finance minister. On January 13 'Aisake Valu Eke is appointed finance minister (with retroactive effect from January 10).


Tunisia: Prime Minister Ali Larayedh resigns. On January 10 President Moncef Marzouki asks Mehdi Jomaa to form a government. He fails to do so within the original 15-day mandate, but is then asked to try again and on January 26 the government is announced with Mongi Hamdi as foreign minister, Ghazi Jeribi as defense minister, Hakim Ben Hammouda as finance minister, and Lotfi Ben Jeddou remaining interior minister. On January 29 parliament approves the government (149-20 with 24 abstentions).





Central African Republic: Head of State Michel Djotodia and Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye resign. The president of the National Council of Transition, Alexandre Ferdinand Nguendet, becomes acting head of state. On January 20 the council elects Catherine Samba-Panza as new head of state; after receiving 64 votes (65 were needed) in the first round, against 58 for Désiré Kolingba, she wins a runoff vote by 75-53. She is sworn in on January 23. On January 25 she names André Nzapayéké as prime minister. On January 27 the cabinet is named with Toussaint Kongo-Doudou as foreign minister, Gen. Thomas Théophile Timangoa as defense minister, Col. Denis Wangao Kizimalé as public security minister, and Rémy Yakoro as finance minister.
Indonesia: Former governor of Aceh (1981-86) Hadi Thayeb dies.
Poland: Former prime minister (1985-88) Zbigniew Messner dies.
San Marino: Former captain-regent (1955) Vittorio Meloni dies.


Bangladesh: Former chief adviser (1996) Mohammad Habibur Rahman dies.
Israel: Former prime minister (2001-06) Ariel Sharon dies.
United States: Terry McAuliffe is sworn in as governor of Virginia.


Croatia: Former foreign minister (1992-93) Zdenko Skrabalo dies.


Japan: The governor of Yamaguchi, Shigetaro Yamamoto, resigns.
Russia: President Vladimir Putin appoints Vyacheslav Gayzer and Nikita Belykh, whose regular terms have expired, as acting head of the republic of Komi and governor of Kirov oblast respectively.


Guinea: The government of Prime Minister Mohamed Said Fofana resigns. On January 18 President Alpha Condé reinstates Fofana. A new government is announced on January 20 with Mohamed Diaré as finance minister, while François Lonseny Fall remains foreign minister and Madifing Diané security minister.

Russia: President Vladimir Putin accepts the resignation of the governor of Chelyabinsk oblast, Mikhail Yurevich, and appoints Boris Dubrovsky as acting governor.
Venezuela: Rodolfo Marco Torres is named finance minister, replacing Nelson Merentes.


Somalia: The new cabinet is announced including Abdirahman Duale Bayle as foreign minister, Mohamed Sheikh Hassan Hamud as defense minister, Abdullahi Godah Barre as interior minister, and Hussein Abdi Halane as finance minister. The cabinet is endorsed by parliament on January 21 and sworn in on January 22.


Nigeria: Former governor of Plateau (2006-07) Michael Botmang dies.
Russia: President Vladimir Putin appoints Aleksandr Berdnikov, whose regular term has expired, as acting head of the republic of Altay.


Georgia: The president of South Ossetia, Leonid Tibilov, dismisses Prime Minister Rostislav Khugayev and appoints Domenti Kulumbegov acting prime minister.


New Zealand: In a cabinet reshuffle (effective January 28), Peter Dunne replaces Chris Tremain as internal affairs minister.


Canada: The premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Kathy Dunderdale, resigns effective January 24, when Tom Marshall is sworn in as interim premier.


Romania: Interior Minister Radu Stroe resigns. Gabriel Oprea becomes acting interior minister.
Tokelau: In parliamentary elections, 20 nonpartisan members are elected.


Chile: President-elect Michelle Bachelet (to take office March 11) names her cabinet including Heraldo Muñoz as foreign minister, Jorge Burgos as defense minister, Rodrigo Peñailillo as interior minister, and Alberto Arenas as finance minister.

Ona Ondo
Gabon: President Ali Bongo Ondimba appoints Daniel Ona Ondo as prime minister. He takes office January 27. On January 28 he forms his government with Ernest Mpouho-Epigat as defense minister, Guy Bertrand Mapangou as interior minister, and Christian Magnagna as budget minister, while Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet remains foreign minister.
Honduras: Rigoberto Chang Castillo is sworn in as interior minister.


Madagascar: Hery Rajaonarimampianina is inaugurated as president.


Czech Republic: Milan Chovanec resigns as governor of Plzenský kraj. On January 27 Václav Slajs is elected as new governor.


Honduras: Juan Orlando Hernández is sworn in as president. Rigoberto Chang Castillo is retained as interior minister and Wilfredo Cerrato as finance minister. On January 29 Samuel Reyes is named defense minister, while Mireya Agüero is confirmed as foreign minister.
Vanuatu: Former British resident commissioner of the New Hebrides (1978-80) Andrew Stuart dies.


Argentina: Former governor of Santa Fe (1995-99, 2003-07) Jorge Obeid dies.
Australia: Peter Cosgrove is named as next governor-general, to take office in March.
Nauru: The government of President Baron Waqa survives a no-confidence motion, which is defeated 11-7.

Ukraine: Prime Minister Mykola Azarov resigns. President Viktor Yanukovych accepts the resignation and Serhiy Arbuzov becomes acting prime minister.


African Union: Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, president of Mauritania, takes office as chairman.
Denmark: The Socialist People's Party announces its withdrawal from the government. Among its cabinet members is the foreign minister, Holger K. Nielsen.
Niue: The government of Premier Toke Talagi survives a no-confidence motion, which is defeated 12-7.


India: The chief minister of Uttarakhand, Vijay Bahuguna, resigns.

Panama: Foreign Minister Fernando Núñez Fábrega resigns. Francisco Álvarez De Soto is designated to succeed him.
Somalia: Former prime minister (1964-67) Abdirizak Haji Hussein dies.